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January 2014

Analyzing the ROI of Video Marketing

Best-in-Class content marketers (as defined in the sidebar on Page 2) plan
Analyst Insight
to increase content marketing related program spend by an average of 22%
(compared with 6.5% for Laggards) and content development budgets by
Aberdeens Insights provide the
21% (compared with 3.8% for Laggards) over the next 12 months. Aberdeen
analyst perspective of the
Groups research suggests that video is a significant and growing part of the
research as drawn from an
content marketing media mix. Based on data collected in May and
aggregated view of research
surveys, interviews, and
December 2013 as part of Aberdeens Content Marketing and Management
data analysis.
research, this Analyst Insight explores key trends in video content
marketing, looking at both the adoption of video by the Best-in-Class, as
well as the performance of companies incorporating video into their
content mix. Best-in-Class firms are not only more likely to incorporate
video into the content mix, companies using video are more effective in
content marketing and report better performance in several key metrics.
Why Video?
Before we get into the data, lets consider the basic question: How can firms
use video to successfully influence buyers in the Hidden Sales Cycle that
defines the new buyers journey? The answer may be found in that old
expression: facts tell, but stories sell. Perhaps more than any other media
in the modern content marketers arsenal, video is inherently a story-telling
medium (at least when done well). In Aberdeens November 2012 report
Video and Collaboration in the Sales Cycle: Fighting the Forgetting Curve, we
noted that video helps both marketing and sales cut through the clutter with
a differentiated voice, thereby increasing both information retention and the
perception of the quality of the message it delivers. With so many
companies now adopting content marketing, competition for buyers
attention may be more important than competition for their capital.
Impressively, as seen in Figure 1, Best-in-Class companies are more likely to
use video in their content marketing mix than any other media.
One factor that may contribute to the rapid adoption of video is the
reduction of cost barriers. It wasnt that long ago that producing high-quality
video content required high-end camera and sound equipment, as well as
perhaps a specialized studio or employment of a production company with
access to state-of-the-art video editing and effects technology. These help to
be sure, but sophisticated video capture and editing capabilities can be had
for relatively modest cost, meaning that many freelancers and regional
agencies can provide excellent, professional-quality video content without
breaking the content development budget.

This document
rdeen Group s
represent the
se noted, the
oup, Inc.

is the result of primary research performed by Aberdeen Group. Abe

methodologies provide for objective fact-based research and
best analysis available at the time of publication. Unless otherwi
entire contents of this publication are copyrighted by Aberdeen Gr

and may not be reproduced, distributed, archived, or transmitted in any form or

by any means without prior written consent by Aberdeen Group, Inc.
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Page 2

Figure 1: Video-First Marketing Trend

Company-authored white papers
Defining the Content Marketing
and Management Best-in-Class
3rd party research or white papers
Aberdeen used four key
performance criteria to
distinguish the Best-in-Class
(top 20% of aggregate
performers) from the Industry
Average (middle 50%) and
3rd party curated content (i.e. blog posts

Laggards (bottom 30%). Best-inor news stories)

Class firms achieved the
Best in Class
following performance metrics:
7.6% average website
conversion rate, compared

with 4.5% for Industry

Average and 2.6% for




23% year-over-year increase
Percent of Respo

nents Using Content

Type in Marketing M
ix (all channels), n = 217
in unique website traffic
versus 8.8% increase for
Source: Aberd
een Group, December 2013
Industry Average and 4.0%
decline for Laggards
While this is interesting, and Best-in-Class firms are more likely to use video
content, theyre only slightly more likely than Industry Average and Laggard
17% year-over-year growth
companies to do so; this suggests that video adoption alone doesnt
in marketings contribution

generated competitive differentiation. Instead we must look at how

to revenue compared with
companies use video in marketing to reach their goals. Figure 2 shows that
5.6% growth for Industry
the adoption gap widens when we look at the ability for firms to generate
Average and 4.1% decline for
Laggard firms
original video content, with Best-in-Class companies 24% more likely than
Laggards to do so (68% vs. 55%).
20% growth in company
revenue, vs. 6.8% for
Figure 2: Original Video Content Adoption
Industry Average and 4.5%
decline in revenue for
Laggard companies

Ability to generate original video content (either

internally or using an outside resource)

Best in Class

Industry Average



Percent of Responen

ts , n = 217
Source: Aberd
een Group, December 2013
2014 Aberdeen Group.
Telephone: 617 854 5200
Fax: 617 723 7897
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Page 3

Setting up for Video Success

Lets consider how companies approach the development of video content.

In Aberdeens September 2012 report Lights, Camera, Call-to-Action: Trends in
ntent Marketing Fast Facts
Video Marketing we highlighted the fact that high-performing companies used


An average 60% of marketing

both professional-quality and do-it-yourself style video content depending on
leads are generated through
the situational use-case. The current study shows that 68% of companies
direct / outbound marketing,
developing video use in-house production capabilities, while 44% outsource
40% through digital / inbound
video production to an agency or freelancer. Since this totals more than
100%, we know that many firms blend in-house and third-party services to
develop video assets. This is consistent with broader trends in content
In the last 12 months, Best-indevelopment: 55% of firms primarily develop and manage content using
Class companies increased

content marketing-based
internal resources that are supported by external services; while 34% of
leads by 18%, compared with
companies completely develop and manage content internally (12% of
10% for the Industry Average
companies primarily or completely outsource content development).
and 8.7% for Laggard
Regardless of the means of production, developing video marketing
competencies will help video become less of a special event and a more
regular part of the content marketing calendar.
51% of companies report that

leads from content marketing

are of higher quality, while
Driving Content Quality with Video
39% report theyre about the
Ninety-one percent (91%) of companies we surveyed ranked the value of
same; just 11% of firms report
producing high quality content a 4 (valuable) or 5 (very valuable) on a 15
content marketing-driven
scale, the highest for any content marketing capability on the list. However,
leads are lower in quality
only 67% of companies ranked their execution ability for this at a similar 4
or 5 on a 15 scale. Companies developing video also rank producing highquality content in similar esteem (93% rate it a 4 or 5), but their level of
execution is generally higher than companies not creating original video
content. Seventy-three percent (73%) of companies developing original
video content rank execution as 4 or 5 on that 15 scale, compared with
just 50% of other companies (those without the ability to create original
video content). The takeaway here is that adoption of video-development


capabilities seems to have a positive impact on closing the quality content

execution gap. Creating video content often requires more work than other
content types, and this extra effort pays off in terms of content quality.
Tracking Video Content Effectiveness
Marketers are obsessed with metrics (and thats a good thing), and content
marketing is no exception. Metrics are critical to understanding the level of
engagement with particular content assets, both to evaluate the content
marketing version of return on assets, but, perhaps more importantly, to
understand what that engagement means about the buying intentions of the
prospect. Video offers several unique benefits in this respect. The first is
that video has a temporal element, allowing the marketer to not only
capture binary viewing metrics (i.e., how many times the video was played),
but to also track the duration of the play. In aggregate, this can provide
valuable feedback regarding an assets effectiveness (videos that are watched
all the way through are clearly more compelling than those that are quickly
switched off). This data is also powerful in the specific when used in the
2014 Aberdeen Group.
Telephone: 617 854 5200
Fax: 617 723 7897

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